Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Reflections on birth

I saw a blog post recently about a new mommy in the hospital.  How she felt.  How she cherished and loved this little baby she just suffered to bring into the world.  "Take a picture in the hospital when it's just you and baby, so you can remember how much joy you felt."  Well, that would have been great, except I didn't feel that.

I tried to remember what happened after Dawson was born.  What those first few days were like.  I'm drawing a big fat blank.  All I can remember is the despair I felt, I don't remember specific events well, if at all.  I had done what I never thought I could do- I brought a beautiful baby into the world.  But all I felt was sad.  I wasn't pregnant anymore.  I couldn't feel him kick me anymore.  My fantasy was shattered, this is not how I pictured it.
24 hour old baby

He was born at 6:46PM on a Saturday night and by the time my parents, sister, and in laws left the hospital it must have been late.  I can't remember, I have no recollection of time.  I attempted to feed Dawson every 3 hours but he was very very hard to rouse.  Joe went to sleep at some point, and I sat and held Dawson for the next 3 hours until his next feeding.  Shell shocked.  In pain, emotionally and physically.   I can't describe any of that first night, or even the next day that I felt any different than that.   I don't remember when people started showing up the next day.  In fact, all I remember about the next day was the nurse wanting me to walk down the hall, and I was so upset because I could barely walk to the bathroom that was literally only feet from my bed.  Joe was doing everything for Dawson, except feeding him, which I seemed to be failing at because he just plain didn't want to wake up for me.  I watched Joe and him bond and I felt this incredible joy for my husband, and sadness for myself.  Why was it coming so easy to him? Why did I feel nothing at all for this baby?

Day old baby
My point in all of this is I think as a first time mother, I had this fantasy that I would want to clutch that baby to me so tight and never put him down, and I didn't feel that.  Dawson and I did not bond right away.  It left me with a huge amount of guilt riding on my shoulders.  It only got worse as I went home and it took literally months for me to bond to him.  I still did everything I needed to do for him, of course, but I just went through the motions.  He was nothing more than a crying mouth to feed and a diaper to change for a few months.  I wish that someone had told me before he came that it's not always instantaneous to feel that intense connection to your baby. It's not always the puppies and rainbows you built up in your head.  All of this certainly didn't cause my postpartum depression, but it contributed heaps and loads to it.  And when I look back, I even want to say it had already begun.

I'm a little scared that this will happen to me again.  That I won't bond with this baby right away, and I will feel disappointed.  Even worse, I'm afraid I won't remember anything again.  I know certain things will be easier this time, but I do have fear that the days after this baby's birth will be the same as Dawson's.  I'm trying to put some actions into place, and seek the support (professional and otherwise) to prevent it, but if there's anything having your first baby can teach you, it's that you can't plan for everything.  You just prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Crazy 8 Minecraft tees on sale!

FTC Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

Minecraft is the hottest kids game out there, and now, the much anticipated tees are available at Crazy 8 for just $14.88! These tees are sure to be a favorite and on the top of our kid's summer wardrobe list. Don't let this amazing deal creepby! 

Minecraft themed tees at Crazy 8 only $14.88!

Trichotillomania Update

It's been a while since I updated on anything but my pregnancy, so I thought I would give a quick update on my hair.  Here's what things in my trichotillomania world currently look like.  These pictures are not great, but they are the best I could do with a 3 year old helping!  They are embarrassing, but I hope they help someone else feel less alone in their struggle with this disorder. 

Hair pulling

Hair pulling

Hair pulling

I wish there were more good things to say, but I have really fallen off the wagon the last few months.  Being sick or tired is historically a big trichotillomania trigger for me.  I don't cope with either one of those things well.  I'm also off my depression medication because I've been too sick to take it, and I hadn't realized how much that was helping.  I most likely will not even try to get back on it until right after I have the baby.. I'm hoping it will help me avoid postpartum depression again and it would be a big bonus if it helps me with my pulling.  

My hair looks worse than it has in a very, very long time.  The temptation to just have Joe shave my head again is big.  However, that just perpetuates the problem I think.  Short hairs are so tempting to me, that I really just start all over again.  It's like taking half a plate of forbidden fruit away, and bringing me 3 plates instead.  Does that make sense?  I'm resisting it, and I have actually had some success with parts of my hair growing out.  Sometimes I struggle with the front, but I've gotten it pretty long (which I've found annoying, actually) and I'm pushing myself to just leave it, not cut it short again.  I can actually tuck it behind my ears now!   

The crown of my head has been a hot spot lately, so I've been trying to wear things that cover it up.  Bandanas are lightweight and don't seem to slide or fall off, but I do get headaches occasionally.. I have to ask myself repeatedly A little headache, or more hair? and that has helped me leave them on.. the headache is usually so temporary that I really can just suck it up.  The part that's most frustrating is trying to remember to put on the bandana. That's a goal for me this week- to remember to put it on before I leave my bedroom each morning.  I'll let you know if I stick to it :) 

I had really hoped to have all my hair for maternity photos but that does not look promising.  I'm still going to do the best that I can, but I've made a promise to myself to not beat myself up if it doesn't look the way I had dreamed.  The important part is to be documenting my pregnancy.. and that's okay if it comes with less hair, because it's part of who I am.  

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Free kids book!

A friend sent this to me :) Looks like shipping is free and there's no required credit card! I ordered one for Dawson and baby girl to share.


Hopefully this works! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

22 weeks pregnancy update!

I'm 22 weeks! Holy wow! Only 18 weeks to go.. Unless she decides to be late.  We aren't even going to have any of that crazy talk though! Pardon my pasty whiteness and lack of make up :)

How far along? 22 weeks 3 days.. Baby is the size of a papaya!

Weight gain? According to my home scale I'm down 2 pounds still. So sitting at a -2.  I don't feel like I'm looking noticeably bigger the last couple weeks either, so I've slowed down I guess. 

Belly button? Lets just say it's not pretty. Ha! 

Wedding rings on or off? Still on.  Figuring they will be fine for a while considering my weight isn't going up and swelling isn't an issue (yet.). 

Movement? Pretty much all the time.  She gets extra punchy when my belly is growling or she's decided something shouldn't be on me.. Like my iPad or the cat. 

Maternity clothes? Yes, yes, yes! (After reading this, it kind of reminded me of an Herbal Essences shampoo commercial.. I'm not that enthusiastic, promise) 

Symptoms? Feeling? Nausea is nearly all day still but I do have moments where I feel okay.  I just have no appetite.  My hips hurt, but my ribs are feeling better this week.  I would love if that clicking sort of popping would go away when I walk.  Pregnancy waddle is in full force- I'll never judge a woman that waddles ever again.  

Mood? Restless.  Wanting to get so much done and not really able to physically.  I would say nesting is in full force.  

Missing? Sleeping on my belly.  Eating whatever I want whenever I want with no repercussions. 

Looking forward to? Settling on a name.. Still.  Painting the nursery.  

Sleep? Hit and miss.  Some nights I sleep like a rock, others I can't get to sleep.  I never feel rested and that's the most annoying.  

Exercise? Yep, nope, none of that happening (still.)

Any cravings? Milkshakes.  Fresh fruit.  

Food aversions? Almost everything.  Nothing I actually eat sounds good, I just make myself eat it. I'm trying to just roll with things that look like they might be good.  

This week has been okay.  I finally got my medication on Monday, but only because I had to go to the doctor for a possible UTI.  Turns out I don't have one, so I just kind of get to live with this pain.  "Sinking uterus" is what she said it is.  Great.  Another unpleasant feature of pregnancy I guess.  Acquiring my medication required a couple of hours at the doctor's office, and a lot of time at the pharmacy afterwards.  There were tears involved and it was just a mess.  BUT I have it! And I think it's helping, some. 

I just feel so tired this week.  I feel physically like I could just sit in my chair in my PJ's all day (and let's face it, I have) but emotionally I feel like nesting.  I want to clean up the nursery.  I want to paint.  I want to clean the garage up.  I want to get all of Dawson's old baby clothes out of the house (before I decide I can't part with them). The energy is just NOT there.  I have managed to cook most days this week, even if a lot of meals have come from the freezer.  I even managed to put several into the freezer.  I'm calling that my big accomplishment for the week.    

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I miss my car!

If you haven't read about my New Car Nightmare you can catch up HERE and HERE.


I'll preface this post by saying I love this car and I think I just got really unlucky! I still have no buyer's remorse!

I would love to say that all the issues with my mommy mobile are resolved, but that's not the case.  Right now my 2014 Honda Odyssey is in the shop.  We dropped it off last weekend to once again have the error lights diagnosed.  Yes, that's right, 6+ months later, the lights are still haunting me. 

I hadn't really gotten into much detail before of what was going on.  I won't bore you, but a brief rundown is that my Front Collision Warning (aka hey airhead- step on your brakes!), Lane Departure Warning, and Vehicle Stability Control (keeps me from tipping over I guess?) lights all come on.  As soon as they do, my estimated miles to empty gets cut in half.  Of course this always seems to happen when I have a full tank.  It's costing around $65 to $70 to fill my tank so.. Poof! There goes a chunk of money.  

I've discovered through this process of trying to get it fixed that it's not really what you know, it's who you know.  Through a friend on Facebook, I was able to get ahold of the dealership owner's daughter (you still with me?) and she's pulled out all the stops to help me, when my own attempts were proving useless.  I'm so grateful and finally feeling hopeful I may get this resolved!  

The dealership was working with Honda engineers this week and it looks like they may have figured out a possible problem, and they are hoping to get the part in today.  I'm a Honda lover, but boy is there a huge difference between my cushy Odyssey and the CRV I'm currently driving as my rental. Let's just say I'm really looking forward to getting it back! 
Minivan dent

Also, the bumper got fixed a few weeks ago. Well, okay, mostly fixed.  It isn't dented anymore.  The paint is still cracked but to be honest, I don't even care about that.  It took Joe about 20 minutes and my old hair dryer in the driveway.  Who knew? :) 

Minivan dent

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Italian Meatball Sub Casserole

I saw a recipe on Pinterest for a meatball sub recipe.  The original recipe can be found HERE.

Baked meatball sub

I changed it a little bit, and  this made 2 pie pans to freeze and a loaf pan for dinner tonight. Here's what I came up with! 

Italian Meatball Sub Casserole

1 round loaf of French or sourdough bread, cubed or torn into 1 inch pieces
1- 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1- 24 ounce can of pasta sauce
1- 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
2-3 lbs Italian meatballs, thawed (I used about half of a 6 lb costco size bag!)
Nonstick spray (like Pam) 

Spray either a 9x13 or a few pans if you are going to freeze.  Cover the bottom of the pan in cubed bread.  If freezing, put the pans in the freezer to firm up/freeze the bread cubes.  
Italian meatball sub casserole

Mix the cream cheese, yogurt, mayo, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper.  Drop by teaspoonfuls on top of bread. 
Italian meatball sub casserole

Sprinkle a small amount of mozzarella over the top.  

Mix together the pasta sauce, tomato sauce, and meatballs.  Spread a layer over the top of the bread and cheese in the pan(s). 

Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top.  

Cover with foil if baking right away.  If freezing, cover with foil and then plastic wrap.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Take off foil & bake an additional 10 minutes.  Serve! 

The only thing I think I'll do different next time is to use the crust pieces of the bread more, and less of the middle because it got a little soggy.  Also, I had to bake it a bit longer because my meatballs were still a little frozen.  So definitely needs to be thawed! It was still delicious.  Even Dawson ate it! 

This was really relatively easy to put together.  It's probably not the healthiest meal, but right now I'm all about easy!  I'm stocking my freezer this week, trying to keep some easy meals for my boys at least when I don't feel well.  Going out multiple times a week is hard on the budget!  

Friday, April 18, 2014

21 weeks pregnancy update

Bump pic

How far along? 21 weeks 3 days.. Baby is the size of a pomegranate!

Weight gain? According to my home scale I'm down 4 pounds again.. So sitting at a -4. 

Belly button? Still flat looking. 

Wedding rings on or off? Still on.  Figuring they will be fine for a while considering my weight isn't going up and swelling isn't an issue (yet.)

Movement? She loves to do somersaults.  It's really uncomfortable already.  Evenings and bed time she's most active.  Seems baby girl is not much of a morning person :) 

Maternity clothes? Yes, yes, yes! 

Symptoms? Feeling? Nausea is nearly 24/7 now again.  Also getting some really awful heartburn and reflux type symptoms.  Like my diet wasn't limiting enough.  My ribs are a little better since seeing a chiropractor.  Hips are killing me though. 

Mood? Not good.  I am really really easy to cry and I am feeling so discouraged by my "relapse" into nausea land again.  Feeling anxious about naming the baby and also getting all the house projects and whatnot done before she is here.   

Missing? Not crying at the drop of a hat, having no physical limitations.  I miss playing on the floor with Dawson.  I also miss sleeping on my stomach. 

Looking forward to? Settling on a name.  

Sleep? Yeah, that's not going well.  I'm having a really hard time getting to sleep due to kicking, the cat, my neck, and my stomach bothering me.   

Exercise? Yep, nope, none of that happening (still.)

Any cravings? Homemade burgers, iced tea, smoothies, coffee. 

Food aversions? Almost everything.  Just forcing food down at this point. 

This week has been less than awesome.   I am not sleeping well which adds to my nausea, plus I have been without my medication for over a week and that's not helping.  My doctor's office is at the tippy top of my shit list.  They keep calling the wrong prescription in to the wrong place and they just can't seem to get it together.  I've spent half the week on the phone just trying to get my meds.  I was supposed to get a call by 6pm today letting me know what is going on with that, but no call.  So it looks like another weekend without.  Happy Easter to me! 

I went to see a chiropractor on Monday and based on the damage done to my neck (old car accident injury that flares) and the fact that I'm pregnant so all my hormones are relaxing my joints and muscles, he wanted to see me twice a week.   Last time this happened, I was NOT pregnant and it took over 4 months of appointments several times a week to correct the problem. I decided that twice a week, or even once a week, my insurance coverage ($1500 per year) wasn't going to go far enough to get the job done, especially while my hormones are fighting me.  So I'm putting it on the back burner until this winter.  It hurts, but to be honest I'm almost used to it.  It's just worse right now because I can't take anything for it.  However, he did tell me that my rib pain is a muscle cramp from all the stretching.  Basically, my belly muscles that connect to my bottom 2 ribs do not want to stretch so they cramp up. He had me lay down and literally stuck his fingers under my ribs (ouch) and pushed where it was tender.   Sure enough, I felt better for a couple hours.   More relief than I've had in a while.  I have to have Joe's help to do it at home, but it's helped tremendously.  

Otherwise, stress from a pending home equity line of credit and car repairs along with my medication fiasco has me pretty stressed.  Hoping next week is better! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Homemade No Cook Playdough

Rainy day activities

I had forgotten all about this recipe for no cook playdough. I have no idea where I got the recipe from- I just happened to run across it in my homemade cookbook today.   I've had it for years, and sadly I've never made it for Dawson before!   We are having a quiet day at home today, so I decided why not?

No Cook Playdough 


1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup warm water 
Food coloring and/or glitter


Mix together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar.   Put your food coloring into the water.  Add water and mix.  Add glitter if desired (I didn't!) 

Pretty simple! Took me all of 5 minutes.  I did dust the playdough with more flour afterwards to get the consistency I wanted but I really didn't measure my flour and water exactly, either.  :)

 Dawson requested orange.  He's been busy with it and an assortment of cookie cutters for over an hour.  He's just now adding his construction equipment to "build" in the pan.  To keep it from ending up all smashed into my carpet or all over my furniture (a problem we have with packaged playdough..) I put it into my roasting pan and told him it has to stay in there.  We will see how long he can adhere to the rules! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trichotillomania denial

I find that I go through these sort of phases where I feel in complete denial of the fact that I have trichotillomania.  It's not that I don't acknowledge that I do indeed have it, it's more of "it's always been this way and always will and who cares?"  It's the denial that I care.

It's very easy for me to get into this rut where I feel like my actions don't matter.  It looks like crap, so pulling 60 more hairs won't matter.  I convince myself that it doesn't matter if I stop, it still won't look good.  It's really a challenging cycle for me to get out of.  I don't know if this is something everyone with trichotillomania battles or not.  When I sort of "snap out" of that mindset I get angry with myself.  I start thinking things like "if you had been more mindful, your hair would have been much thicker" and while it's true, it's not really productive.  

Negative thinking has always been something I do.  I find it so so hard to be mindful of that.  It creates anxiety, makes me focus on the bad in my life, and in general leaves me feeling down.  Today is a good example.. I had 5 days where I managed to pull less than 10 hairs.  That probably doesn't seem like a huge accomplishment, but I would say for the last several months 5 out of 7 days of the week, I pull 100-300 a day, easily.  Today I pulled again, more than 10, closer to 100-200 I'm guessing.  I started feeling annoyed with myself, and then it spilled over into the rest of my day.  I didn't get dressed today, all I got done was dishes and made Dawson and I meals.  Then I thought about other things that aren't going the way I want them to.  I gave myself a major case of the blahs.  

But you know what? I'm turning that around right now.  I can still do better tonight and tomorrow.  I might not have gotten anything done today except realize I do care. I spent a day with my adorable yet cranky 3 year old.  My dishes are washed.  The day isn't over, and I can still squeeze in a load of laundry.  And hey, I did some self reflecting that may help me in my hair pulling struggle tomorrow.  

So the whole day isn't shot after all.  :) 

Friday, April 11, 2014

19 & 20 weeks pregnancy update!

Wow do I suck at keeping up with this..

19 weeks pregnant
^^^ 19 week bump ^^^

How far along? 20 weeks 3 days.. Baby is the size of a banana!

Weight gain? According to the scale at my midwife's office, I have officially hit my pre pregnancy weight again! So I guess that makes me at a +0. 

Belly button? Starting to look more flat and stretched, but in a weird way.  Hard to explain, I'll spare you the details. 

Wedding rings on or off? Still on.  Finding it hard to part with.  I feel naked without my wedding rings on. 

Movement? Lots and lots.  I told Joe last week that I thought this baby was less active than Dawson, because I had specific times of the day I felt movement but I'm now eating those words.  It's like a 24/7 party in there. 

Maternity clothes? Yes, yes, yes! Now that we are getting warmer weather I'm going to have to get some more shorts and dresses. 

Symptoms? Feeling? Nausea comes and goes still.  Having about half good days, half bad.  On the bad days I have zero appetite and on the good I have very specific cravings.  My ribs hurt, bad enough that I made a chiropractor appointment (it's next Monday).  My muscles at the top of my belly are starting to give me a hard time.  With Dawson I damaged a nerve and the whole top of my belly went numb, I've never gotten the sensation back there.. But this time it's more of a popping and it hurts bad enough to bring tears to my eyes.  Sitting on the floor with Dawson for anything is starting to hurt pretty bad. 

Mood? Feeling okay.  I have been battling my anxiety this week and my hair has suffered horribly but it's a work in progress, as I say.  I'm fine one moment and the next I'm crying.  It's hit or miss! 

Missing? Alcohol.. Still.  I honestly have been missing alcohol so much that I can't even remember anything else I'm missing.  Running, I do miss that.  I'm beginning to realize it keeps me more level headed than I noticed.  Oh, and super hot baths.

Looking forward to? Buying baby clothes and decorating.  I went through some of Dawson's old baby clothes this week and it was like a slap- you are going to have a baby, one small enough to fit into these adorable little outfits. 

Sleep? Having a lot of bad nights.  If I'm asleep, I'm having weird dreams.  I've been awake way, way too much at night though.  My nose and my back and neck are my biggest obstacles when it comes to sleep.  

Exercise? Yep, nope, none of that happening. 

Any cravings? Strawberries, cake, chocolate chip cookies.  Salad.  Iced coffee (decaf)

Food aversions? Steak. Soup.  Warm lettuce.  Sugary drinks.  Cooked veggies. 

Ultrasound picture

Well I guess first I should say that we had our anatomy scan on Tuesday and we found out we are having a baby girl.  I knew as soon as the tech went to the little booty shot.  "There's nothing there.. Not like with Dawson." And she said "that's because you are having a girl."  No lie, I cried.  I would have cried if she said it was a boy too. In that moment, I thought about all the things I've done with Dawson that I will get to do with a girl.  And things I want to do that aren't things Dawson is interested in.  It gave the baby a little more of an identity for me.  I'll have a daughter to kiss on her wedding day as I help her get dressed.  Joe will have a daddy's girl.  I love everything about Dawson, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat, but having one of each makes me very excited.

I had my regular appointment right after the ultrasound.  My weight is good, everything else seems to be on track.  However, the ultrasound did have some things that weren't perfect.   The baby has what's called a choroid plexus cyst on her brain and her kidneys are dilated.  Both can resolve themselves, but are soft markers for trisomy 18 too.  We did not do the testing during the 1st trimester, but were given a chance to do so within the next 2 weeks.  Joe and I felt like that still won't give us any answers, just more questions.  Our insurance doesn't cover anything else. The cysts happen in plenty of normal babies too, as well as the kidneys.  They will do another ultrasound at some point to make sure the dilation of her kidneys is gone.  The thing that makes it alarming is they both showed up.  It still could be nothing.  My anxiety has been hard to control.  I almost wish they hadn't told me.  I know for liability that they have to.  All I can do is continue to pray that she will be okay, doesn't have trisomy 18, and we will bring home a beautiful healthy baby.  I can't even go to the other place right now, if it is trisomy 18.  I have to try to just think positive, or I'll fall apart.